weight loss

What??  I thought Juices were good for you?  

This is the typical response I get when I tell patients to NOT drink any juices.  

With all the Vitamixes, Nutribullets, and Ninjas available now, you can’t walk through a big box store without seeing someone demonstrate and sample some tasty, "good for you" juice.

Juices have contributed to the obesity and diabetes epidemic in the United States.  Yes! Juices…

O.K., I might have been a bit harsh about juicing but in general, the rule is  

  • eat your food, don’t drink it.

The USDA recommends 2-4 servings of fruits and 3-5 servings of vegetables daily.  This is sometimes misinterpretted by people and they go for 5-8 servings of fruits.  Why you ask.  Because fruits taste good, sweet, juicy, and yummy…and if you can get all 5-8 servings into a juice drink then even better, right?  WRONG.

Fruits are made up of mostly SUGAR.  It does not matter where the sugar comes from, fruit or cane sugar.  Your body will process it as sugar and treat it as simple calories – 4 calories per gram of sugar. Aside from the calories, simple sugar also stimulate non desirable hormonal state and promote fat storage. 

Let’s compare some of the more popular "healthy" juicessugar

The Naked Juice – per 10 ounce serving

  • Naked™ Orange Juice: 27 grams
  • Naked™ Berry Blast: 32 grams
  • Pepsi-Cola™: 34 grams
  • Naked™ Green Machine: 35 grams
  • Naked™ Mighty Mango: 35 grams

Odwalla – "the original superfood" smoothie

  • 49 grams of sugar per 15 ounces serving

Thus juicing has no place in weight management program and absolutely no place in a weight loss program.  Eat all your vegetables and then you can eat a few good fruits with it  (like the berries.)  Say no to sugar and fat.  This will help you stay lean and healthy.

Waist Training… A new twist to the old concept of "You are what you wear."  Please refer to that blog for further background (written earlier in this blog.)  This new body shaping technique is gaining interest.

Recently, Kim K. posted a selfie wearing a corsette at a work out session.  It went viral.  She and other star moms are coming out of the closet wearing waist cincing corsettes.  The term "waist training" was coined.  Can you get a 24" waist?  The answer is yes if you start early enough and are persistent enough.  If the ancient Chinese can bind feet and cause the bone to fuse into a stump (which, by the way, was thought to be beautiful in ancient time) then we CAN cinch waist. So here’s my selfie.  You be the judge.Garment

So what are the do’s and don’ts if you want to decrease your waist size.  

1. Do start earlier in waist training.  To significantly change your shape, you should begin training in your early twenties.  There are many advantages in starting early. You will get the most significant change in shape if you begin early in cinching your waist.  This will change fat deposition to other more desireable parts of your body like bust and butts, the non constricted areas.  

2. Do it long term.  What is long term? I mean for years…wearing it most days of the week.  Long term body shape training will also result in some weight loss due to decrease appetite and decrease stomach capacity.

3. Do it slowly.  Start with a corsette that is snug and once you get used to it, begin to downsize slowly while maintaining safety and comfort.  It will never be completely comfortable.  It will never be lounge wear. Just accept this and the adage of no pain, no gain somewhat can be applied here.  

4. Don’t wear it too tight where it interferes with your normal breathing.  Avoid constricting the diaphragm and your ability to breath. Again, start slow and your body will adjust to this.  

5. Don’t give up.  You can only get the result from this training if it is consistent and long term.  If you are looking for immediate results, then waist training is not for you.  Like most body changes, only vigilence and persistence will get lasting results.

Good luck.  Look for Part II of Waist Training – a personal narrative.

Many people start out trying to lose weight and get shapely again by restarting exercise regimens long forgotten, reactivating gym memberships that have expired, and/or dusting off those work-out DVDs.  They start out full of good intentions and motivations only to repeated find rapidly dwindling efforts and determination.  Why does this happen to us?  Why can’t we lose the weight by exercising?

Exercise is not enough for weight loss because  girl exercising

1. Exercise makes us hungrier and we eat more.  This is a catch 22.  Exercise burns calories which is good, right?  Yes, BUT, it also increases our appetite.  We then give into the hunger and consume more food.  As a result, no net weight loss.

2. Exercise increases muscle mass and we weigh more.  Muscle is more dense and therefore a person who begins to exercise can increase their weight initially.  Any person trying to lose weight by exercising can be discouraged and quit if their effort only results in a higher net weight.

3.  Exercise is only half of the weight formula.  Weight change = Calories intake (food) minus Calories used (exercise and activities.)  This simple formula is at the core of all weight management.  It seems simple enough that when we exercise in addition to our regular daily activities that we should lose weight if keeping our Calories intake the same.  Unfortunately it is not that simple when we are trying to lose weight.  We may not notice that we tend to eat more.  We do this consciously by justifying to ourselves that we deserve it because we worked out, or subconsciously unaware of our tendencies to eat more. As a result, there is no weight loss when we increase exercise alone.

4. Exercise takes time and planning. In our busy lives, trying to work in time to exercise is a feat just like exercising itself.  Most people cannot maintain the exercise routine because it is not a routine.  We have many excuses why we just can’t exercise today i.e. traffic was bad, woke up late, had to pick up kids, etc.  Exercise can’t help in reducing weight when it is not performed and simply just thought about.  

5. Exercise does not target all fats.  There are deposits of fat in our bodies that are purely genetics and are extremely difficult to reduce.  They are generally placed in the abdomen or hips and thighs in women.  These pockets are stubborn and generally are resistant to exercise and even diet.  

For the above reasons, sometimes it takes more than just exercise to get back our shapely bodies.  At Body Envi, we can help assess your body and recommend a comprehensive plan to accomplish your body shaping goals.  

In the midst of this holiday season, I am being Mrs. Grinch by writing about weight.  I know and I’m sorry but obesity and weight related health issues don’t take holidays.  With more than one-third of U.S. adults being obese, weight management always need to be on our radar. Weigh scale

My 18 years of experience in Women’s Healthcare and weight management has taught be many things about losing weight…

1. Anyone can lose weight – yes, this is true

2. Any program will work if you stick with it – so pick a program that you can do and you will be successful.  No matter what program that is, if you can’t do it then it will not work. i.e. a program can be too restrictive or too free (choices can be bad.)

3. Fat is the enemy not weight – the more fat you have, the lower your metabolism and the more difficult to lose weight.

4. Weight loss is a marathon and not a sprint – worthwhile and sustained weight loss takes time because you are losing fat and it is very light.  The scale is only one to measure success.  Inches loss is also another measurement of success.

5. Will power can only go so far – we are susceptible to bad food choices everyday.  All celebrations are scheduled around meals.  i.e. Birthday dinner, Anniversary brunch, etc..  Our present relationship with food is not healthy.  Food sustains us and we can enjoy it without going to excess.  This is the key to maintaining weight.  

I’m a proponent of good nutrition and exercise to lose and maintain weight.  I do not believe in any fads (cabbage soups, lemonade, back to the land, etc…) because the fads will help you lose, at times large amount of weight, only to rebound back to the same weight and even gain a few more much quicker than the time it took you to lose the weight.  

Now, I have some new tools to add to the nutrition and exercise plan.  They are the pair of weight loss drugs approved by the FDA – Qsymia and Belviq.  

Qsymia is a combination of two FDA-approved drugs; phentermine and topiramate.  Taken once a day studies have shown an average weight loss ranging from 6.7 to 8.9%. 

Belviq is the trade name for the drug lorcaserin.  When taken twice a day, it works by activating a part of the brain that controls hunger.  Studies of patients on Belviq revealed a weight loss range of 3 to 3.7%.

These medications are a wonderful addition to nutrition and exercise program here at Body Envi and should assist in the initial weight loss as well as maintaining weight.